Five smarter washing machines
Washing is a chore that few people, if any, actually enjoy doing. Collecting the dirty clothes and loading the machine is bad enough but then you have to hang it all out too. It's not only time consuming but it's also seriously boring.
You might think a washing machine is just a washing machine. But while there are no machines that do the loading and hanging for you, there are a few available now or on their way that have a host of clever features including NFC to make washing a little more fun.
We have rounded up five smarter washing machines that either come with exciting features to help turn a tedious chore into a more bearable one or present what washing could become in the not-too-distant future.
The Samsung WW9000 washing machine looks like it should be going into space with its streamlined, seamless design and clever little features.
There is a 5-inch LED display that you can use to control the machine with your finger, allowing you to adjust the temperature, spin speed and rinse settings, as well as select other options, but it is the Smart Control feature that makes the WW9000 really exciting.
Smart Control means you'll be able to remotely control and monitor your washing machine from an app on your smartphone so you can start or pause a cycle, receive notifications about how long a cycle has left or set it up to let you know when a cycle is complete.
The WW900 has a detergent and softner compartment within the drum and the machine will work out how much you need, just like the Siemens iDos machine does, plus you'll find a 10kg capacity, maximum spin speed of 1600rpm and the WW9000 can wash 5kg in a speedy 60 minutes.
Siemens WM14Y890GB iDos
Sometimes the best features are the ones that will save you money and the Siemens WM14Y890GB iDos washing machine is likely to do exactly that by automatically dispensing the right amount of liquid detergent and softner your wash needs, similar to the Samsung WW9000.
This washing machine knows how much detergent to use down to the millimetre, using sensors to determine the material of your clothes, how dirty they are and how big the load is, which it hopes will not only save you detergent but water too.
There is a stain removal programme to help you remove 16 of the most stubborn stains so if you have a habit of spilling red wine down you this machine will be your best friend and there is also a 24 hour time delay function if you want to load the machine but have your washing to finish at a more convenient time.
In terms of the basic functions, the Siemens iQ800 WM14Y890GB has an 8kg capacity, a maximum spin speed of 1400rpm and a 15-minute quick wash if you need a top cleaned super fast.
LG Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3
The new range of LG washing machines aren't available yet but they are set to be coming soon and if you can handle waiting a couple more months, you'll not only get a good looking machine, but also some great features.
There are no buttons on the top model of the new range, with everything controlled from the full touch panel with white LED display instead and although you can't control the machine with your smartphone, you will be able to download new programmes using it and NFC connectivity to connect the two.
Tap your smartphone to the NFC Tag On symbol and the washing machine will register your phone, after which you will be able to download programmes such as Wool, Baby Care and Cold Wash. The NFC feature is also used for the company's Smart Diagnosis feature that helps you identify minor problems.
Top of the range is the Series 1 machine that comes with the addition of TrueSteam technology, which uses steam to take out wrinkles and odours from your clothes but all the machines offer the TurboWash function that will wash your dirty clothes in 59 minutes.
Swash has been created by Proctor & Gamble and Whirlpool and it is a little different to your conventional washing machine in that it is not only significantly smaller, but it will refresh your clothes in 10 minutes.
At first glance, Swash looks a little like a portable radiator but instead it is a product designed to help you say "goodbye to excessive washing, drying, steaming, ironing and dry-cleaning" - sounds perfect right?
Swash is available in Shadow and Linen colour options and it works by refreshing one garment at a time using Swash Pods Cups to remove odors and heat to dewrinkle them. It also restores the fit of clothes so its perfect for jeans that lose their shape quickly.
Pulling out Swash from the front, you place the garment on the hanger, attach the clips from the bottom and sides, re-close Swash and select a programme from the top of the appliance. The only problem is, it isn't available till September and it's currently US only.
PRICE: $499 plus $7 per 12-pack of pods
AVAILABILITY: Bloomingdales (from September)
WATCH: How Swash works
Cloudwash is a little more futuristic than others on this list in that it is only a prototype at the moment, but it presents how appliances could use connectivity and which features could end up finding themselves on your washing machine. Berg created two prototypes, one being a technical prototype that put a Zanussi washing machine on the web using the Berg platform, while the other was a design prototype that offers a new interface for the washing machine and smartphones, as well as a machine itself.
The design prototype is what Berg calls Cloudwash and it offers a machine with a few physical dials that works without a phone, but with a phone it offers more advanced features and settings. There are three customisable options on an E-Ink display that you can make as descriptive as you like, as well as a dot matrix display for other information and vertical bars representing 5-minute increments to show you how long is left.
Users would be able to change the finish time using their smartphone if their plans changed for example and there is also a way to stop the machine spinning during anti-social hours, plus you can decide what notifications you want your smartphone to give you.
Berg also dabbled with introducing two buttons for detergent and conditioner, which pushing would either result in a reminder on your phone to purchase the product you need or a direct integration with a vendor to buy the respective product.
The Berg Cloudwash product might only be a prototype and a scary one at that, but with Samsung and LG both bringing smartphone connectivity into the appliance world, maybe just maybe your washing machine will become the next most exciting gadget in your home. OK, that might be a little far fetched but they are certainly becoming more exciting than cleaning your clothes at least. Watch this space.